Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Harper Gives This Introvert Indigestion

The CBC national television news ran a feature on Stephen Harper last night. The experts have declared that his is an introvert-type personality. The piece also revealed that he is now on his third Communications Director, and that he doesn't like giving spontaneous interviews or quotes to the press. He's giving introverts a bad name, I mean, what if everyone who is an introvert, like me for instance, ends up being thought of as a Stephen Harper clone. The very thought of it makes me queasy. Of course Harper unsettled my stomach before I heard of his official personality type, but now it's worse.

I was curious about the exact definition of introvert, so I looked it up in my brand new dictionary and was mildly surprised to find this:
1. Psychology a person predominantly concerned with his or her own thoughts and feelings.
2. A shy quiet person. - Why is that the secondary definition? Is it because introverts haven't lobbied for a more prominent dictionary position?

I believe I fit the second definition, in spite of the fact that occasionally I make loud statements in public. I tend to be loud because its the only way I can make myself speak at all under those conditions. I think that Harper fits the first definition and if he is predominantly concerned with his own thoughts and feelings, how much care will he have for the people of this country, I wonder?

I still have my original Communications Director because I am unable to fire her. I guess I'm just too soft altogether.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Gold Medals and Bras

I watched the Canadian women's hockey team defeat Sweden and win Olympic Gold and cheered for them and shed a few tears too. If it was that time of the month, it would explain my tears, but I no longer have that excuse. Maybe now that I'm an 'old gal' I can be overtly emotional any time of the month. Why not?

Maybe I can rant away about the not-so-joyful process of finding a new bra too. Not that I was planning to buy one, but when I took my favourite comfortable bra out of the washer and hung it over the shower rod to dry, I happened to look at it closely. It was clear that the poor thing wouldn't survive more than one or two more washings. The last time I was in Toronto, a friend told me about a great bra store and I went there but I couldn't face paying about $70 for a bra so I decided I'd wait. Well the waiting time was up and since it was snowing madly this morning, I decided to make the trip to the Zellers store at Bridgeport. A big part of the strip mall is being renovated so I had the fun of navigating around the construction and avoiding drivers in the parking lot who didn't have a clue what they were doing. It was quiet in Zellers, it usually is, except on seniors days and I mosied through the lingerie department. I was intrigued by the very colourful selection of bras but did not think I wanted hot pink or lime green with blue stripes. And a lot of the very colourful bras are only available in smaller sizes. Talk about prejudice. Of course Jockey doesn't make the bra I used to like anymore and a couple of other models I might have chosen don't seem to exist either.

The whole process of choosing a bra is a crap shoot if you ask me. I measured myself, all three ways before leaving for the store, in case my breasts had grown overnight. They hadn't, but I'm sure my back has.

In the end, I found one that does not look like it was designed to hold up a whole bridge. It seems to fit - though who knows if it will fit tomorrow, and it turned out to be on sale. Lucky, lucky me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Matinee Giggles

Most of the people I know don't celebrate Valentine's Day, and I didn't either, at least not on the day itself. However, on Sunday I had a movie-and-dinner date. We went to the Sunday matinee of The Pink Panther. I was sure there would be some children there, and I was right. One boy in particular made the movie-going experience more fun. He had the most infectious giggle I've ever heard. In fact, if the laugh-track people knew about him, he'd be signed up in no time. There's a lot of physical comedy in the current version of The Pink Panther, and the giggler helped the adults in the audience to let go and laugh at the extreme silliness we were seeing. So, I'm glad we went to the afternoon show, because the evening audience surely would have been more restrained.

These lines from the movie still make me chuckle.

"It was fatal."
"How fatal?"
"He's dead."

My daughter and son-in-law came over on Saturday and now the door to my utility room is installed, more shelves have been put up, and - most important of all - the doors to my fridge/freezer have finally been reversed. I no longer have to back up against the wall to open the fridge door. I don't understand why the previous owner of this place didn't have the doors put on the right way, but maybe she had the same problem I did. It's a two-person job, so I had to wait for help.

The opening ceremonies for the winter Olympics were so visually entrancing that I watched some parts twice. Later I found out that my daughter and family, who have Express-view watched parts of the ceremonies three times. I'm watching parts of the games, mostly figure skating and women's hockey, when I remember to check the schedule. I'm a big fan of the Canadian women's hockey team and I wish they'd get the kind of attention they deserve. Maybe when they win the gold medal, they will. The Canadian men's hockey team has a lot of old guys on it, so who knows, they might not win. I do feel somewhat sorry for Wayne Gretzky, because lately, he looks like he's getting an ulcer from the stress of the gambling accusations. Yeah, I know, he's rich and all, but he's never been pretentious and I'm willing to "bet" he had no involvement in the so-called scandal. Maybe I'm biased because I spent some years in the great one's home town. Brantford's the kind of place you'd choose to leave, if you could.

I wonder if our postal carrier is on a one-man strike or something. My mail box has been almost empty for over a week, only one piece of junk mail has arrived, and that's it. I'm waiting for T4P's and hoping for replies to my fiction submissions. Maybe this afternoon, or tomorrow, or the next day, there will be real mail for me. Meanwhile, I suppose I should get to work.

Friday, February 10, 2006

No Law Against Love

Two members of the Grand River Three, our small independent writing group, submitted short stories for No Law Against Love, a romance anthology published by Highland Press. Both stories were accepted for publication, so congratulations to Jennifer Ross and Susan Barclay. Well done, guys!

Proceeds from the anthology support breast cancer research and I hope that sales will be brisk.
Every story in the anthology features a silly law which might interrupt a romance. Since I've had the opportunity to read and make editing suggestions for both stories, I can tell you that if every story in the anthology reaches the quality of Susan and Jenn's stories, then the book should become a big hit.

The book will be available from Barnes & Noble. Their first order has sold out!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Quilts in the Bathtub and Savoury Food, Elsewhere

Maybe we're close to the tail-end of winter. I seem to think we are because I've started to do some of the things I planned to do in the spring.

Yesterday, I took the top quilt from my bed and put it to soak in the bathtub. I'd be happy to put it in the washer, but it won't fit. So, I reverted to my traditional way of cleaning quilts. My knees didn't appreciate the exercise and they're growling at me, so I'm pacifying them by sitting.

It could be that my knees are also complaining about the furniture moving they had to participate in on Friday. No matter. The results are worth it. My writing area is more defined and I'm putting cork board on the back of a bookcase so I'll have somewhere to post all the little notes I keep making about my novel-in progress.

As for savoury food, I really enjoyed my son-in-law's cooking last weekend. His prime rib roast was delicious and so were all the other dishes that went with it. Food is on my mind more often these days - other people's food - not mine. I've been writing about food, for money, and when I write about food it makes me hungry, for other people's food. When someone else cooks it's just so much more fun. I've never been a great cook, because I've never focussed on being one. As I wrack my brain for new adjectives, or use old adjectives in a new way to describe ready-to-eat foods, I'm gaining a new appreciation for the people who write marketing copy.

I think someone ought to write marketing copy for my friend Dorothy, the ace social worker.
After painting her office (as I mentioned in a previous blog), she's had to deal with both fire and flood at her place of employment. I'm beginning to think she should be nominated as "social worker of the year" and she should find a new job. The whole adventure might make a good short story, if it wasn't a little too implausible for fiction.

Now that I have my latest business writing venture temporarily out of the way, I think I'll get back to my kitchen, or to my fiction.